Who we really are- Holly Papa and Cari Hauptman are hollybookscoops and caribookscoops

Dear readers,

Many of you have been with me and my sister Cari from the very start of our experience reviewing books. So, it is with sad hearts that we share some news with you. A few months ago, our domain name, Bookscoops was accidentally allowed to expire and someone else purchased it. Totally sad, but totally legal. Unfortunately, the new site owner is plagiarizing our material and has embedded pornographic links in our reviews.

We are so sorry that this has happened and assure you that we are doing all within our power to get the material taken down. Our current correct address is https://bookscoops.wordpress.com. If you have any links to our former site, please update them.

This letter serves as official notice that Holly Papa is hollybookscoops and Cari Hauptman is caribookscoops. We do not agree with or support the pornographic content embedded in our copyrighted reviews which are being used without our consent.

We will keep you updated as we work to a resolution. Thank you for your support!

Sincerely,

Holly Papa aka hollybookscoops and Cari Hauptman aka caribookscoops

All posts are © Cari Hauptman,  Holly Papa and Bookscoops.wordpress.com 2007-2014 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Bookscoops.wordpress.com authors and/or owners is strictly prohibited.

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The Vine Basket by Josanne La Valley

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The unique things about The Vine Basket is that it reads like historical fiction, and yet is realistic and also, I believe, contemporary fiction. The author, Josanne La Valley based The Vine Basket on an experience she had while in northwest China. Uyghur is a tribe in China where the girls who don’t go to school or have poor families are in danger of being sent to work in factories. Local leaders have quotas to fill, so girls must constantly be on the watch. Mehrigul is one girl who knows she is in danger of being sent to work in the factories. Her older brother has left taking all hope from Mehrigul’s father. Will Mehrigul find a way to stay at home on the family farm, or will she give up her dreams of staying home and be sent to work in the factories far from grandfather and everything else she loves?

I enjoyed reading The Vine Basket and think you will too. Incidentally, I also think this book would be perfect for a school assignment. At 242 pages, it’s plenty long enough, and I would love to have teens read it and gain a broader world view- and maybe a greater understanding of who might be manufacturing the Chinese goods they purchase so cheaply. The price, it turns out, is really not so cheap.

A Dress for Me! Shoes for Me! by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Mike Laughead

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Shoes for Me! and A Dress for Me! by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Mike Laughead, immediately bring to mind my many adorable nieces. One such niece, age 5, was recently being put to bed by my brother. After laying side by side for quite some time, she said, “Are you thinkin’ what I’m thinkin?” My brother replied, “Sleep?” to which she replied, “Shoes and dresses. They are soooo pretty.” I think I know at least one little girl who would especially love these books!

In A Dress for Me! Hippo goes shopping for a new dress for school. She goes through dozens of dresses of all shapes and sizes until at last her mom is done. But Hippo hasn’t found the perfect dress yet, and begs to try on one more. Girls of all ages will identify with the hunt for the perfect dress and the hunt for the perfect shoes.

In Shoes for Me! Hippo’s feet have grown and it’s time to go shoe shopping. With a parallel storyline of tons to choose from, but none just right until Mom is fed up and ready to leave. Hippo always finds what she’s looking for in the nick of time.

If you have little ladies that love dresses and shoes, these are the perfect companion books to read with them. Fliess has a way with words and her rhymes will bring lots of smiles as you send your little ones off to bed with visions of dresses and shoes in their heads. While you could certainly read one without the other, I recommend getting both- because what girl only needs a dress without a new pair of shoes or a new pair of shoes without a dress?

a dress for me

Books for Kids Who Lose Someone by Holly Papa

Many of you know this already, but my Grandpa passed away at the end of January. We expected him to go, and were glad that he no longer suffered the effects of age and illness. However, it was still hard. We only live a few miles away, so we saw him on a regular basis. This was my kids first close experience with human loss- we’ve had pets pass before, and they lost some other great grandparents when they were too young to understand much. So of course, I wanted to find books to help my kids through the grieving process. I haven’t found the perfect book- probably because every circumstance is different. But, here are a few books we have read that have helped us share and deal with our grief. I hope they might help you too.

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The Dragonfly Door by John Adams, illustrated by Barbara L. Gibson is a book that follows the lifecycle of a Dragonfly through a pair of nymph friends, Lea & Nym. Lea is older than Nym, so she changes from nymph to dragonfly ahead of Nym and Nym is left behind wondering what she did wrong for her friend to leave her. It’s a non-denominational way to express a belief in an after-life in a way kids might relate to. It has won many awards (Mom’s Choice, Benjamin Franklin, & Evelyn Turman Young Readers Book Award), and has beautiful illustrations. I personally found the text longer and more cumbersome than necessary, but my kids liked it and we had a great conversation.

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What’s Heaven by Maria Shriver, illustrated by Sandra Speidel

Again, very heavy on the text, but sweet pastel illustrations lend to an angelic feeling in this book. I read it to my kids while they were eating dessert so that their attention span was longer than normal. Despite the long text, there were great discussion points and lots of questions and answers that children deal with whenever someone dies. It follows the journey of Kate, who has just lost her Great Grandmother as she comes to understand that when we lose someone to death, they are still a part of us because they have loved us and taught us things.

Grandpa and Me and the Wishing Star by Barbara J. Porter, illustrated by Dilleen Marsh

This one is also an award winner. Yet again, lots of text (it seems to go hand-in-hand with the subject).

This book reinforces my personal LDS beliefs about death and was a great fit for my kids when their Great-Grandpa passed away. The book starts with a little boy named Jamie and his Grandpa who are best friends. But one day Jamie comes home from school and sees Grandpa being taken away on a stretcher. Later he finds out that Grandpa passed away and he is angry at God for taking him. Jamie goes through some of the stages of grief in a realistic way that I feel is useful for kids to read about so that they know that those feelings are a normal part of grief. My kids had some special experiences with my Grandpa and were able to be with him right up to the end, so they had a lot of feelings to work through.

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Always my Brother by Jean Reagan, illustrated by Phyllis Pollema-Cahill

Cari posted a review of this great book two years ago that helps children deal with the loss of a sibling. Please feel free to check out her review and her interview with author Jean Reagan

Grief is a part of life here on earth- we love people and we miss them when they are no longer with us. What are some of your recommendations of books that help children of all ages through this natural, but often painful process of grieving for a loved one?

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

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Donovan Curtis is a magnet for trouble. He can’t seem to avoid it no matter where he goes. So when he destroys his middle school gym, he needs a place to hide. When some paperwork gets mixed up in the disaster, Donovan gets the best hideout handed to him on a silver platter. The Academy of Scholastic Distinction- or the gifted school. He knows he’s in major trouble if he’s discovered, so Donovan works hard at school for the first time in his life. The only problem is, how can he hide how ungifted he is? As Donovan embarks on a completely out of character adventure, he finds out how gifted he really is.

This book is perfect for all those kids out there who wonder how they will possibly contribute in the world of academics, when all they want to do is surf the internet and hit stuff. It was a fun read for me and I think you’ll enjoy it too!

Penelope Crumb & Penelope Crumb Never Forgets by Shawn K. Stout

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Penelope is a recent discovery for me- she can be your newest discovery too! I’ve read books 1 & 2 in this brand new series that promises lots of fun and adventure. Penelope’s spunky and annoying and downright adorable. She has parts to her that all of us can identify with and although most of would be happy to be her friend, we might want a break or two once in a while. Penelope Crumb’s the kind of character that gets under your skin and wriggles her way right into your heart. 

These books are perfect for the upper elementary girls in your house, or the ones who are still young at heart. 

J. Scott Savage is in Boise!

I just thought I’d give you all a head’s up that your first night of spring break could be spent doing something awesome! If you are going out of town, then the night before spring break could be spent doing something awesome!

What is it you ask? Well, dear readers, you can go to a…

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… book signing. Yes, that’s right! J. Scott Savage, author of the Far World Series (I haven’t read them yet, but I want to), is coming to do a book signing at our very own Deseret Book!

Details:

Thursday, March 21st, 6:30-8:30PM at the Meridian, Idaho Deseret Book

Friday, March 22nd, 6:30-8:30PM at the Boise, Idaho Deseret Book

He has other books too, in case Zombies are your style… check out this one:

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What? You’ve never been to a book signing? Book signings are so fun people! You get to stand in a line (that’s not the really good part, come back here!) The best part comes when you get to the front of the line. That’s when you get to meet really cool people called authors. What? You want to know how I know Mr. Savage is cool? Okay, I’ll tell you: He’s teaching a class at WIFYR this summer. You know, that amazing writer’s conference Cari and I keep telling you guys about every summer? Well, they only let cool authors come there. That’s how I know. And I would love to go to his class. I would sign up tomorrow if I could. But, I already agreed to take 25 giggly girls on a campout all week. Yeah, it’ll be fun. So you should sign up and go instead of me. Then you can tell me what I missed out on. We could be writing buddies!

Get ready to kick off your spring break to a fantastic start! It’s also a great finish to read week if you happen to be celebrating that this week at your school. My kids are at theirs, and Mr. Savage is even doing school visits. Is he coming to your school? He’s coming to ours, and I am so excited. I should go back to school just so I can be part of things like that.

Okay, okay, okay, I know you all don’t want to write books. You like to read them. So go! Write it down on your calendar, don’t miss it. Your kids need something great to read over spring break!

We Go Together! A Curious Selection of Affectionate verse by Calef Brown

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This is the perfect universal valentine gift! It is so quirky and unusual that it has something for everyone. We Go Together A Curious Selection of Affectionate Verse leaves lots of room for wondering just which poem best applies, and at the same time ensures that each recipient knows they are loved and appreciated- platonically or otherwise. With so many verses to choose from, there is sure to be a favorite for everyone. What’s your favorite valentine verse?

What others are saying:

Jennifer at Literaticat– Need a Valentine for your daughter, son, bestie, westie, sister, brother, “Significant Other”, BF, GF, BFF, or super secret crush? Look no further!

Books for Kids– Just right for primary kids, but with vocabulary-expanding language and a depth of meaning that can even stick in the heart of a grownup, We Go Together!: A Curious Selection of

Affectionate Verse is a timely little volume to treasure for Valentine’s Day or anytime.

Author/Illustrator’s Info:

Don’t forget to check out Calef Brown’s website!

*I received a review copy of this book courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The opinions in this review are my own.

Home Front Girl- A Diary of Love, Literature, and Growing up in Wartime America By Joan Wehlen Morrison

Home Front Girl

 

I feel like I have a new friend after reading Home Front Girl. Joan Wehlen was so palpable on the pages of this book, that I wish I had in fact met her and could call her my friend. Full of historical snippets and teenage soliloquys, Home Front Girl is the Yin to Anne Frank’s Yang.

One of my favorite parts is something Joan Wrote at age 17:

“Oh you, my generation! –we were a lovely lot! Sharp minds—arguing all the time and brittle bodies and even more brittle laughter—and all the time knowing that we were growing up to die. Because we weren’t fooled, you know. All through those bright-colored years of adolescence we knew we were growing up to disaster. For at least four years—well, three, before it happened, we knew it was coming. Some sort of inner sense of war lay upon us. We were pretty brave—we joked about it the way we joked about love and about the polio epidemic when we were all scared to death of it.”

Joan, more than anyone I’ve ever heard of at this time, felt the world was small- that all were worthy of brotherhood and peace, and saving and that war for anyone and everyone was wrong. This is illustrated in another one of her quotes, “London is Troy tonight. . . . Berlin is Troy too.” I think in this sense Joan is somewhat unusual for her generation, for most youth of her time were not pacifist. (Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on that.)

I highly recommend Home Front Girl as a primary source for research and insight into the Greatest Generation as so many have called Joan and her peers. Joan’s writings are full of insight and humor and the every day happenings of a teenage girl. Even though Joan had profound insights, she also struggled with the same thing teenage girls struggle with now- school, boys, parents and knowing what to believe in.

Thanks to Susan Signe Morrison, Joan’s daughter for wading through pages and pages of memories to bring her mother’s diary to light and share it with the rest of us. I received a review copy of this book at no cost to me courtesy of Caitlin Eck, publicist for Independent Publishers Group. The opinions are my own.